The Cow Says, Have Fun!

Sometimes, when the clock hits 3:00am, and you've been in the server room since 9 o'clock the previous day, you start to get a little batty. That's the only explanation I have for programs like cowsay in Linux. Still, I'm glad they're there, because life wouldn't be nearly as fun without them. Here's a quick list of silly Linux programs off the top of my head. I'd love to hear about more, so please, send me your crazy Linux Easter eggs, and I'll follow up on the Web site showing off the best ones.

  • cowsay: install this program, and the cow will say whatever you ask it to. (Bonus: there's a GUI version of cowsay too, called xcowsay!)

  • sl: this is a program I like to install, because it makes fun of you when you accidentally type sl instead of ls—a steam locomotive chugs across the screen. (It also shows up if you press caps lock, and type LS!)

  • cmatrix: blue pill or red pill, this little program will suck you in to the Matrix either way! (Leaving this matrix just requires a Ctrl-C, thankfully.)

  • libaa-bin: install this package, and then type aafire to stoke up the ASCII flame. Grab your digital marshmallows!

  • Star Wars: open a terminal and type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl, and grab some popcorn. Or maybe roast some of those digital marshmallows, because you can watch the entire Star Wars movie in a terminal window.

Most of these silly things have been around for years and years, but every so often, I learn of one I never knew about before. Send me your favorites, and I'll be sure you get credit for slacking off at work—er, I mean for discovering awesomeness! E-mail shawn@linuxjournal.com (put something like "FUN" in the subject line so I know what it's about).

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.